Chemical Upcycling of Polymers
The DOE SC program in Basic Energy Sciences (BES) announces its interest in receiving applications on behalf of single investigators and teams of investigators, which may involve multiple institutions, to support fundamental experimental and theoretical efforts that advance chemical upcycling of polymers and circular design of next-generation plastics. The term “plastic” describes a wide array of polymeric materials with diverse compositions and properties. Finished plastic products may include multiple polymeric components and often contain additives to obtain desirable physical, chemical, or mechanical properties. Understanding of chemical approaches that make use of end-of-life plastic products as feedstocks to regenerate the same product, or otherwise upcycle them to new, more valuable products, is limited. BES seeks innovative fundamental research that creates the scientific foundations for new technology solutions to reduce plastic waste, lower the energy impacts of plastic production through chemical upcycling, and create energy- and carbon-efficient feedstocks for valuable products through chemical upcycling of polymers.